dirty rag

Election 2000 - Recycle Your Vote - Craig Butz

Over the last few weeks, many people have told me that they like Ralph Nader's ideas, but don't want to "throw away" their vote. They say that a vote for Nader is a vote for Gore.

But I'd like to tell you that it isn't true. If you cast your ballot for Nader, it won't be thrown away. In fact it will get recycled. For the Green Party to become a viable alternative to centrist politics, to serve as a watchdog over the corporate-run Democrats and Republicans, it must make a strong showing in this election. The Greens need 5 percent of the popular vote to earn Federal Matching Funds in the 2004 presidential election. With that legitimizing money, their next candidate will be able make him or herself visible earlier, even if ignored by the entrenched media. The result could be enough support to gain entrance to the next series of presidential debates.

A spot in the debates will mean treatment by the media as a legitimate candidate, something crucial to our country's future.

Nader's running mate, Winona LaDuke was picked by Time Magazine as one of America's 50 most promising leaders under 40 years of age.

In the past few years, the Democratic party has been racing to the right. Our government is more and more ready to legislate morality and make decisions for us, when its role should be to aid its citizens, and protect the people and land from exploitation and destruction. A Green party presence in the national political scene will help move the conversation back where it belongs.

So what if George Bush beats Al Gore? Gore would like you to think there's a big difference, but is there? They both favor government bureaucracy tying the hands of teachers who know their students' needs. They both favor increased military spending to protect our consumption of oil.

They both oppose a sensible health-care system where government would take the profit out of caring for the sick, and keep ALL of the rest of us healthy. They both want to keep the minimum wage below the poverty level. They both support the death penalty. If Bush is elected president, Democrats like Al Gore will realize that they need to stand by their principles and stop being pushed around by public opinion polls.

George Bush? Al Gore? We deserve better.

Do the green thing; recycle your vote.

Support Ralph Nader and Winona LaDuke.